Seriously Mentally Ill Seniors Are Losing Their Housing
“We are losing facilities that care for seriously mentally ill adults because the reimbursement rates are inadequate. Mentally ill adults have nowhere to go and end up homeless,” said Bennie Tinson, MPP, LARCA’s Executive Director.
SAN BERNARDINO, CALIF. Just $44 per day is all that the State of California budgets to provide seriously mentally ill adults with housing and food at a licensed Adult Residential-care Facility (ARF). It’s not enough.
As a result, adult residential care facilities are closing, and mentally ill adults have nowhere to go. At a time when the State and the County have both announced funds being budgeted to create more residential care for seriously mentally ill homeless adults, ironically, they are failing to fix a problem that results in people who are now housed and cared for and putting them back on the streets.
It seems the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing. There is a clear failure to analyze the whole picture and come up with a solution that does not create new problems.
Adults diagnosed with developmental disabilities get between $191 and $391 for care and housing. The Los Angeles Regional Caregivers Association (LARCA) is a nonprofit group that advocates for parity with facilities that work with the developmentally disabled.
“We are losing facilities that care for seriously mentally ill adults because the reimbursement rates are inadequate. Mentally ill adults have nowhere to go and end up homeless,” said Bennie Tinson, MPP, LARCA’s Executive Director. “How can anyone think that $44 a day is enough to provide housing, food and care for the mentally ill who cannot take care of themselves?”
Adult Residential-care Facilities prevent homelessness and provide meals, housekeeping, laundry and medication management. Failure to take medications is a key predictor of psychiatric relapse, which can lead to overuse of emergency services, incarceration and homelessness.
To prevent further facility closings, LARCA members and community supporters advocate for the following:
Immediate infusion of $2,000 per bed for each state-licensed facility with 70% of their census on SSI and living with Serious Mental Illness with no supplemental assistance.
Raise reimbursement rates to facilities that provide care and housing to low-income residents living with Serious Mental Illness that is on par with those living with Developmental Disabilities.
“With proper funding, Adult Residential Facilities can take 936 homeless seniors off the streets right now,” said Tinson.
According to the California State Commission on Aging people over 50 are more than half of all homeless and the fastest-growing segment of the homeless. They need proper care, provided by properly funded licensed care facilities.
For more information,
go to LARCALA.org, call (323) 536-4801
or email info@LARCALA.org.